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House committee on China starts two-year drive to ‘decouple’

Rep. Mike Gallagher said he doesn’t blame past leaders for betting that inviting China into the global economy would induce Beijing to follow rules set by liberal industrial powers, notably the United States, and become a good global citizen, perhaps even embrace political reforms.

But it’s time to cut our losses.

“Everyone made the same basic bet on China,” Gallagher told The Daily 202 in a phone interview on Sunday. “That bet made sense. It was logical. But it failed. So now we’re trying to extricate ourselves.”

The Wisconsin Republican, a former Marine counterintelligence officer, chairs the weeks-old House committee on China. The panel holds its first hearing Tuesday, kicking off what he says will be a two-year effort to map a way for America to “selectively decouple” the two economies.

The committee will take a big-picture look at Beijing’s military rise, its threats to take over the democratically self-governed island of Taiwan by force, and its overt and covert efforts to influence public opinion by silencing critics and spreading propaganda.

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